Alan Menken

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Much of this vast film score captures the sound and feeling of being in a huge cathedral, particularly the opening piece, "The Bells of Notre Dame," which exudes a churchlike ambiance with a pipe organ and the voices of the one-hundred-member Royal Opera Choir, both of which were recorded in St. Paul's Cathedral at Knightsbridge, England. On that song and throughout the album, the chorus sings in Latin, adding to the music's authenticity. Not all is solemn and spiritual, however. In true Disney fashion, there is plenty of silliness, as well as frighteningly clever lyrical twists by Stephen Schwartz. The music is a vibrant accompaniment to the film, and offers the same sense of poignancy and longing.

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